Dynamite Prize

The Nobel Prize is named for Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite.

 

That seems pretty important to keep in mind.  The prize—one of the highest honors in the world—is named for a guy who created something that causes destruction and has often been used as a weapon.  By that standard, awarding it to a politician seems perfectly logical to me.

 

Just in case you’re lost…yesterday, President Barack Hussein (I’m taking it back) Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize.  Mostly, he was awarded based on the concept that he’s (already) gotten a lot of other countries to communicate with America more openly, and that he has plans to raise America’s profile in the eyes of other nations.  Essentially, he’s being awarded because he has the potential to change things for the better, and the Nobel committee believes in him.  Sounds nice…but awarding someone for his potential is a lot like awarding someone for attempted brain surgery…or handing out the Nobel “Best Trier” Prize.

 

I’ve made it no secret that I support my President.  He’s the first President within my lifetime that I’ve felt like has wanted to REALLY change things for the better (and yes, I’m even counting Clinton in that).  He actually DID give me hope—and that’s the most important thing in the world.  But he doesn’t deserve a Nobel Prize…yet.

 

It hasn’t even been a year.  In Bush’s first year in office, he’d not quite screwed up the country yet.  He hadn’t had enough time to do so.  Same with Obama.  He hasn’t been in there long enough to fix the mess he was left with yet.  The guy still needs to prove himself.  I believe that he WILL.  I think he’s already made MASSIVE strides in that direction.  But he’s not there yet.  He shouldn’t have been awarded the Nobel Prize based on what he’ll probably do.  They just should’ve waited until he’s done it.

 

…but on the other hand, unlike the Nobel namesake, he hasn’t really blown anything up yet, either.  So I guess that kind of works, too…

————

Current Listening:

  • Wilco (the album)

I Can Add Another Thing to My List

Y’know how for the past couple of years, I’ve been calling a certain radio-host by several arguably mean names?  How, every time I mention him, I refer to him as “That fat, deaf, drug-addled piece of crap Rush Limbaugh?”  (Mostly due to his comments and actions re: Parkinson’s Disease; the disease which was a major contributor to the death of my grandfather.) Well…turns out that I can add “racist” too. 

 

As some may know, that fat, deaf, drug addled piece of crap Rush Limbaugh recently threw his hat into the ring to purchase the St. Louis Rams. On the one hand, I guess that works…it just seems like losers finding one another. Kind of a match made in Heaven, or at least in Burger King (…fat). Well, this article at the website of my hometown newspaper brings up some comments he’s made that I somehow missed. Here’s just a couple of highlights of things that fat, deaf, drug addled piece of crap Rush Limbaugh has said re: black people (and football players, too).

 

“Look, let me put it to you this way: The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”

 ————

“I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

 ————

“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

 

…and the worst part is that some of the people in the comments pages agree with him. Sorry about that. They don’t represent most of us. For some reason, no one with morals ever signs up to post comments on a news site in this town.

 

Anyhoo, just in case you’re keeping tabs…it now goes, “That fat, deaf, racist, drug addled piece of crap Rush Limbaugh.”

 

I just love progress.

 

…and by the way, yes. Sometimes I start feeling bad about calling him that—or at least PARTS of that. I sometimes worry that I’m crossing over into defamation of character or something like that…but then I see things like the above…or I remember his comments re: Michael J. Fox/Parkinsons…or I remember when he had an “NEA Member” on his old TV show to “tear up their membership card” (which—surprise—wasn’t actually an NEA membership card, which I know because my Dad actually HAS one)…or any of the other myriad of wrongs he’s perpetrated and I realize that you can’t defame what isn’t there. Unfortunately, the evidence is on my side.

 

It just kills me that his lemmings f**king QUOTE him like he’s Confucius. That’s what the world is coming to, I guess.

 

…so there’s your fat, deaf, racist, drug addled piece of crap update.  (Hoping to add “homophobic,” and “pediatric hospice rival” to that by the end of the year.)

 

Closing comments on this one…just don’t want the same kind of douchebags from my newspaper’s website posting over here.  I’M the only douchebag that gets to post here.

 

EDIT: Just a real quick justification for every point on that list…

  1. Fat – I think this one speaks for itself…though his later-day irresponsible diet (Google it) did manage to have him looking not-quite-as-fat for a while.  Well done there…and that’s coming from a fellow “eater.”
  2. Deaf – Dude’s going deaf.  I don’t wish that on anybody, and I’m half deaf myself…but I do find it ironic that he’s been deaf to the opinions of others for so long that it finally manifested physically.
  3. Racist – See above.
  4. Drug addled – Okay.  No offense to anyone with addictions.  I get how that happens and it’s an easy slope to slip down.  Keep in mind that I’m talking about RUSH, not about YOU.  If your addiction developed accidentally and you’ve been honest and responsible about it, that’s one thing…but when you’ve got a national radio-show on which you attest “I have never done drugs.” and “Too many whites are getting away with drug use…Too many whites are getting away with drug sales…The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too.”  I think at THAT point, you get to wear your label.  (And on the latter quote—that kind of works for “racist,” too.)
  5. Piece of crap – I think this one speaks for itself, too.
  6. I could also add “sexist” (he actually once stated that he’s proud to be called a “chauvinist pig” and I believe he’s the one that coined the term “femi-nazi”) and hypocrite to the list…but frankly, it’s getting hard to remember all of that stuff to spit it out every time.  Plus on the latter, we’re ALL hypocritical about SOMETHING…he just broadcasts it.
  7. The main reason I show the guy so little respect is because I will NEVER respect abuse of power.  Rush KNOWS that his listeners hang on his every word and assume he is relaying facts.  The trouble is, even when he IS telling the truth, he’s doing it with malice and venom.  But seemingly at a 50/50 split, he doesn’t even bother with being factual.  That’s the problem…that whole “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” thing?  Sometimes you get done unto.  I just assume that since Rush is who he is and behaves as he does, this is exactly the type of response he wants, or at least expects.

…and there…I’m done defending it.  Point is, the Rams suck enough without having that guy at the helm, to boot.

Random Stuff

No theme or anything…just haven’t updated since Farm Aid.

  1. Think I might’ve heard a gunshot on the way home from work today…that or some guy hit a sewer.  Hard to say.  I was in my car and had just waved off a homeless guy (I didn’t have anything to give him) and the dude kind of went across the street and I heard a big “boom” and I think felt my car shake a little.  Could’ve been anything.  Could’ve also been a construction thing around the corner that I couldn’t see, too…but it was kinda weird.  Actually, if it HAD been a gunshot, I kind of don’t think it would’ve been so loud…so maybe I’m just paranoid.  But if I die at the intersection of Kingshighway and Delmar this week, look for a beggar in a green coat.  He was gunning for me.  He’s at that intersection bothering people a lot.  (Kidding…kinda…)
  2. Been having trouble keeping one of my tires inflated, despite a patch-job.  Missed work on Monday as a result.  Frustrating.
  3. Reading Nick Hornby’s new book.  He’s back to writing about music.  Yay!
  4. It’s been getting cold at night.  That makes me happy.
  5. Work’s been good.  Our volume seemed to slow down a little this week.  I’m a little worried about that.  Not because we’re losing business or anything, but because that probably means we’re going to get HAMMERED with new reports and claims at the end of the week and into next week.  But we’ll deal.  We’re good at what we do.
  6. Blue Tattoo record’s nearly done.  We’ve decided that we’re going to re-record the stuff from the “Logan County EP” as well, and see if we want to include any of it.  Hopefully that’ll be quick.  Otherwise, all the new stuff’s pretty much done, except for some vocals and a guitar part Chris needs to do…which leads me to…
  7. Congrats to Chris and Amy on the birth of Mattingly Christopher Teague on Tuesday! 
  8. I have a minor toothache from biting down on a bone.  Gonna be sucking on tea-bags for a while.  (That’s not a metaphor…it’s a home-remedy for a toothache.)
  9. “House” has been pretty good so far this season.
  10. I just went to my bank account online and it reads that I have $0.00 available in my checking account.  I should have like $1400.  I’ve got an e-mail in to them, but hopefully it’s just an internet math error that will clear up without any effort.  (But I get the sense I should just find a new bank…not the first problem I’ve had with them this year alone.)
  11. Started drinking an old beer last night.  By which I mean I reached for my beer (at band practice) and accidentally grabbed one that had been sitting there for probably two weeks…open.  Didn’t swallow anything, but it was warm and horrible and ended up being spit all over the floor.  Johnny almost threw up just watching it.  It was awesome.
  12. My brother’s got a couple of things on his mind, but I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about them.  So, just in case, all I’m going to say is, “woah.”
  13. I can’t find my copy of Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”  I know I had it a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s missing.  Did I lend it to anyone?
  14. So that fat, deaf, drug-addled piece of crap Rush Limbaugh is one of the people involved in a possible purchase of the Rams.  I don’t even CARE about football, but I hope this doesn’t happen.  I refuse to let Limbaugh own ANY fixture of MY town.  He can do whatever he wants in Cape Girardeau—that’s not my problem, but I refuse to let him take over St. Louis.  This is my town, and I want him to KEEP OUT.
  15. Bonus Rush Limbaugh joke — Did you know Rush Limbaugh invented High Definition?  Yeah.  It’s true.  He’s both high and deaf.
  16. I accidentally watched about 10 seconds of a Pauly Shore movie tonight.  Almost killed myself.

 

That’s enough, I think…maybe too much.

 

Anyway…long-story-short, things are basically good…celebrity news is always entertaining…and hopefully no one took a shot at me today.

 

Derek out.

Very Quick Farm Aid Wrap-Up

Just finished my post-Farm Aid White Castles and thought I’d do a very brief wrap-up of the show.  I may expand on some of this later, but for now, let’s just do rapid-fire bullet-points.

  • I got a little sunburned.
  • There was a complete asshole sitting behind us…he kept yelling random crap in-between sets, and during sets, he kept yelling at people to sit down.  Dave and I got into it with the guy a little bit—Dave more-so than me.  Dave pretty much convinced the guy to leave people alone at least for a while, but he started up again, and I shouted “SHUT THE F**K UP!!!” to him at least twice.  What a dick.
  • We went largely for my Dad’s birthday.  Happy birthday Dad (it’s today, actually).  Hope you had all the fun you were supposed to and maybe some more.
  • My friend (and friend of the blog) Jim tells me that he saw us in the crowd on the local news!  That’s pretty cool!
  • It ended up kind of cold, but not horrible…still, most of the wusses (aka – Dave Matthews fans) headed to the gate after dark, but before the end.  I’ll never understand how some people don’t stick around until the end, especially after you’ve already been there for 9 hours…

 

…okay…now short reviews of the performers, in order…

 

  • The Blackwood Quartet – Missed them.  We got there a little after noon and were in line until just after 1:30 (or something like that…I may be a little off.)  Show started at 1.  Once again, the amphitheatre shows its ineptitude in not getting us in on time…
  • Phosphorescent – See above.  Missed them, too—but that’s probably because we did our merch buying and bathroom going upon arrival.
  • Will Dailey – Pretty good.  Could’ve done with hearing more…walked in part-way through Will’s introduction.  I may check out more later on Rhapsody.
  • Ernie Isley &  the Jam Band – Surprisingly fun and entertaining…and Isley’s pretty funny, too!
  • Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – Willie Nelson’s kid.  I was eating a pork-chop sandwich (which wasn’t very good—sorry, farmers) at the time, so I mostly just heard it in the concourse…but I will have to say that the kid’s voice is really grating and I’m kind of glad I missed it.  Might’ve given me a headache.
  • Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horse – Really good.  Definitely going to dig a little deeper on this one.
  • Billy Joe Shaver – Apparently missed his flight or something…didn’t get a full set from Shaver, which I was kind of bummed about, but he joined Willie on stage at the end, which was cool.
  • Jamey Johnson – Pretty good, and I WANT to get more into it…but I get the sense that his lyrics are probably a little too pro-pot for my taste.
  • Gretchen Wilson – Meh.  Good entertainer, but not my cup of tea…and also, that WASN’T country, and people should really stop calling it that.
  • Wilco – (This, incidentally, began our problems with the dick behind us.)  GREAT set.  Lots of fun and high energy.  Plus, Tweedy pointed out that he’s basically from here (Belleville, in his case), and contrary to what Gretchen Wilson says (her big “hit” is called “Redneck Woman”), not everyone from here is a redneck.  Thanks, Tweedy!
  • Jason Mraz – I was thinking of posting a list of things I’d rather do than listen to Jason Mraz…but I need to go to bed before sun-up.  Just boring and terrible.
  • Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds – To those like myself who don’t like Dave Matthews, you’re probably thinking, “What could be more dry, lifeless and boring than a Dave Matthews B[l]and set?”  To that, my answer is “Acoustic set.”  DULL.  For some reason everyone in the crowd was on their feet for it, but up and down (mostly down) for the rest of the day.  I’ve never liked the Douche Matthews Bag, and stripping it down to acoustic doesn’t help.  In fact, it somehow makes it even more boring.  Tough to say if Matthews or Mraz was duller…maybe sometime they can meet up and have a dull-off…and even that might end in a tie.
  • John Mellencamp – Turns out I’m kind of a fan…who knew?  I had no idea how many of his songs I like!  Really good, fun set, and I may have to pick up a “best of” soon.
  • Neil Young – I love Neil Young.  I’d never seen Neil Young until tonight.  My expectations were high.  He did a really good set, focusing on a country sound and playing nothing even RESEMBLING a hit.  I liked that a LOT!  I didn’t know a lot of what he did, but it was still really, really cool and I’m glad I saw it.  I’d like to see a full Neil set where maybe he does some more of his rock stuff…but all in all, no disappointment, here.
  • Willie Nelson – What can I say?  It’s Willie.  He ALWAYS knocks it out of the park.  Great set.  Kind of a sleepy start to it, but it built to a definite burn pretty quickly and it was a lot of fun.

 

Like I said, I may say more later…but that was the ultra-short version.  Mostly, it was just cool to go to a BIG (and sold out!) show with my dad and brother again.

 

And again…happy birthday, Dad!

Why’d You Do What You Did?

(Title of this post is a really inappropriate reference to a Marianne Faithfull song.)

 

I’ve been thinking about this for a while…  I don’t fully have my thoughts organized and this is just off the top of my head with no outline or anything…but I’ve been thinking about it and I want to say something.

 

I’ve got a lot of friends who are Christians.  Maybe this is an obvious thing to say, I’m not sure…but as such, those friends tend to do “Christian” things.  I’ve been reading a similar “Christian” message on a LOT of Facebook pages lately that I think needs to be addressed.  A lot of my Christian friends have been talking about the importance of helping those who are in need.  Most frequently they’re talking about the homeless (as though the not-so-homeless don’t also need a good deed done, now and again—but that’s a side issue).  I’ve been reading things of the following tone for weeks… “Jesus wants us to help these people.”  “If we don’t help these people, how will they ever be reached for Christ?”  “You can’t witness to someone if you’re not willing to feed them.”  “We need to show Jesus to these people.”  Etc, etc…

 

Okay.  Fine…  But do you give a shit about the actual PERSON or are you just trying to gain a few Jesus-points?

 

Let me run this by you…and please think about it.  Suppose God doesn’t exist.  Suppose all of the Bible study, the faith, the worship, the desire to be more Christlike…suppose it’s all meaningless.  Suppose (and I’m not saying it’s true or that I believe it) that there is no God and your faith has all been worthless.  Do you still care about people?  Were you just being good to the needy (and/or maybe also the not-so-needy, too) because you think it’s a spiritual exercise, or do you actually care about the fact that people are living on the streets and will DIE without your help?

 

I submit this to you…  If you’re only being good to people because you think it’s going to get you into Heaven, you’ve got the wrong motive.

 

I’ll let that sink in…

 

Ready?

 

Okay.

 

Even if God doesn’t exist (and, again, I’m not saying He doesn’t), shouldn’t we still recognize the basic concept that a human being deserves the respect and care of other humans?  Shouldn’t it mean just as much that a secular institution gives food, blankets, and temporary shelter to a tsunami victim as it does if a “Christian” institution does it?  Isn’t that also a good thing?  Isn’t it still doing the “work of God” even if they don’t know who God is?  Isn’t it still a good deed?  Isn’t it okay to treat people with the heart of a Humanist, even if it’s a “secular” one?

 

…can’t we just be good to each other based on the concept that we’re all humans?

 

I submit to you that if you are only good to people because Christ TOLD you to be…if you only care about others because Jesus did…if you only show compassion out of a religious guilt-response…  If that’s who you are, then you’re a hypocrite.  It would be better if you disdained the homeless, the needy, the poor, and/or the just plain rich and unhappy and just ADMITTED it, rather than putting on the false-mask of Christ in order to give with anything less than your whole heart.

 

“But, Derek…are you saying it isn’t enough to be a good person just because God told you to be?”  Yes.  That is exactly what I’m saying.  You’re either a good person, or you’re just PRETENDING to be a good person.  You’re either a good person, or you’re a liar and the God you can’t even be 100% sure exists will spit you out of His mouth.  It’s not enough to just do what you’re told…you have to BE that person.  You can’t just perform all the right actions like an actor reading a part…you have to be the real person, living, breathing, and showing all your warts to the (metaphorical) reality-show crew.

 

So…who are you?  Do you care about people, or are you just acting out of religious obligation?  The road to Hell is paved with good intentions…and Jesus said that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” will enter Heaven.  Jesus calls you to integrity, not into grudging servitude.  It’s your call.  You can either be real or be pavement.

 

Whatever you are…be that.  If you’re not happy with who you are…change.  But let’s drop the act, let’s drop the false humility, and let’s drop the church speak…okay?

 

…and I bet a bunch of you are mostly just bugged by the fact that I used the word “shit” earlier on, aren’t you?

Two Things

Here are the first couple of topics from my list the other day…for the record, I know a lot of people are going to disagree on the first one, and I’m aware that I’m not 100% rational on it.  Don’t care.  Just free-flowing.

 

1. Iran

I’m in the very small minority that doesn’t care that Iran is close to being able to enrich uranium.  (I’m also one of the few willing to admit that I don’t know what the hell that means anyway.)  I’ve always felt that it’s absurd that the US, England, et al are allowed to build all of the weapons we want but any small country that tries to bring more than a knife to a potential A-bomb fight gets shelled back to the stone-age.  I understand that the basic argument is that “…but Iran might USE them!!!”  Okay.  They might.  But we already HAVE on multiple occasions, and now we’re threatening them with using them AGAIN.  So what does that make us? 

 

I never have and never will support war except as a measure of absolute last resort (and I don’t think we’ve had one of those since WWII—though I think the hunt for Bin Laden DOES make sense).  Right now, President Obama wants to try diplomacy (a shockingly new concept in American government!).  I’m for that.  I hope he and I stay on the same side on this one.  The stupid f*cking war is about 70% of why I tried to vote out the last guy in ’04 and didn’t vote for the runner-up in ’08.  I don’t think I’m alone on that, either…and I hope B-Rock remembers that.

 

…and by the way…at least Iran told us about it and didn’t try to hide it.  They’ve been absolutely forthcoming.  I don’t see any reason to reward honesty with a bunker buster.

 

2. Farm Aid

Farm Aid is this weekend.  (Full line-up here.) I’m super-excited!  Going with my dad and brother, mostly as a gift for my dad’s birthday.  Should be cool (long as it doesn’t rain).  Looking forward to Willie and Neil.  That’s worth the price of admission alone.  …plus, I’m going to get to see a real, bonafide LEGEND in Billy Joe Shaver!  A lot of people are complaining about the lack of further “big” names being added to the event (see Dave’s blog for a really well written post on that), but I think those people are nuts.  First of all, the main reason to go to Farm Aid is to (GASP!) give a few bucks toward aiding family farms (something that may one day soon become VERY important in my family).  The entertainment is secondary.  Second…you’re guaranteed to see Dave Matthews (pfft), John (sans-Cougar) Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson.  How DARE you bitch about not getting bang for your buck?

 

…more stuff tomorrow…probably…

 

————

 

Quotable Quotes:

  • Larry: “Today’s just so………why’d I eat four donuts?”
  • Me: “Shhhhhhhhhhhut up.”
  • Tara, on the subject of not knowing what sound a ninja makes: “I did [make that sound], but you couldn’t hear it because it was the sound of a ninja.”

Stuff

I feel like I should blog something, but I honestly can’t organize my thoughts well enough to even do a “random” thing.  I have a lot to say about a couple of things, but I don’t really feel like writing any of them up, nor do I know which I want to address first.

 

So, this is just a list of stuff I WANT to talk about…maybe I’ll get to it all…maybe not.  If I do, then think of this as a “Table of Contents” thing, I guess…or maybe more like an index, since my page moves stuff down like it does…hmm…

 

Things I Mean to Say (Play on the blog/record title, yo):

  • Iran
  • Farm Aid (coming up this week)
  • The Differences Between My Current Job and My Old Job
  • Super-Sorry that My Friend Jim Lost His Job
  • Blue Tattoo Update
  • Brief Update on My Solo Career (or Lack Thereof)
  • A Weird Nonsense Post Largely Focused on String Theory (Google it)

 

…we’ll see what happens.  Bound to get to one or two of them.